New poll on the right - how should Scotland vote on the 18th?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A new poll has just been put up on the right, and is as straightforward as the question on the ballot itself. Should Scotland vote yes or no to becoming an independent country?


Germany in 1912: Images 291 to 295

The Sandtor Basin is no less than 1,030 metres in length and 90-130 metres in width. This is where the English, Norwegian and Dutch ships approach.

The Church of St. Nicolas, located in the market square for hops, has a Gothic tower of 147 metres, one of the highest in Europe.

Hamburg. -- The wheat elevators are here to receive wheat from the wagons and to dump them into cargo boats. Equipped with fans, they dispose of the wheat dust that way.

Hamburg. -- A crane with a force of 75,000 kilos and a volley of 30 metres that lifts the coal cars and empties them into the barges.

A hangar on the Schuppen dock. -- In the colossal port of Hamburg there are also more than 80 hangars of 120 to 450 metres in length and 20 to 60 metres in width.


Nicaragua was hit with by a meteorite today

Monday, September 08, 2014

Wonderful news - Earth was hit by a meteorite today. It's good news because nobody was injured and no damage was caused, but it was close to an urban centre and really drives home the point that we are not immune to events like this. The only way it could have been better would have been if we had a few days' warning about it.

Coincidentally (or not?!), today is also the close approach of asteroid 2014 RC.

Note: there aren't too many articles on this just yet so maybe I am a bit skeptical, considering the one meteorite hoax in Latvia a few years ago. We should find out about its veracity fairly soon.


Free flyby: 2014 RC passing by us at 40,000 km in 3 days

Friday, September 05, 2014

Great news: we get a free flyby of an asteroid at a very close distance in just three days. Flybys of asteroids closer than the distance to the moon are very rare, and this one will be nearly ten times closer. Too small to be seen with the unaided eye, we'll still see some videos of it and, naturally, Goldstone has quickly made it a priority.

2014 RC is an object roughly 15 meters in diameter that will make an extremely close approach to Earth at 0.1 Earth-Moon distances on 2014 September 7. Nothing is known about the asteroid other than a crude estimate of its diameter, but the close approach distance indicates that this object will be a very strong radar target on Sep. 7. This will be one of the closest approaches known an object of this size or larger. The encounter provides an excellent opportunity to study the physical properties of this object, which is in a size class that is not well understood.
It's just a pity that it's not going to hit us, because it would do hardly any damage but would have made headlines for a full week as it approached.


Which is closer to Kaliningrad, Germany or Russia?

Friday, August 29, 2014

Kaliningrad AKA Königsberg is an exclave of Russia, used to be a part of the German Empire, both joined to the country,

as well as separated from it. So being a Russian exclave isn't its first time being an exclave.

But which country is it closer to? On a map it looks fairly close. What is the exact distance?

There are more precise tools out there, but the distance calculator for Google Maps placed on two points that seem to be closest to each other will give us a good idea. The rules are that we are going as the crow flies, and sea borders don't count.

Let's start with Germany. We head to the northeast, get as close to the sea as possible along the Polish border, and extend the second point to that sandbar-like protrusion that I don't remember the name of.

That works out to: 357.539 km.

And Russia? The closest point is down in that corner where Russia, Latvia and Belarus share a border. It's not exactly on that confluence of the three countries, but it's close. The closest point in Kaliningrad is a part that bumps out a bit on the northeast due to a small river marking the border, and happens to be the closest part.

And the distance? It's...


362.122 km. Germany by a nose.


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